Thursday, December 25, 2008
"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6)
These prophetic words spoken by the prophet Isaiah foretold the coming birth of Jesus, and the incredible significance that this birth would have in the course of human history.
Today as you celebrate Christmas with your family and friends, I pray that with all the chaos of opening presents, and turkey dinners, and eating WAY TOO MUCH STUFFING, that you remember Jesus, his birth, and the incredible significance that this birth still has today.
So how will you celebrate the birth of Jesus today? How will your Christmas celebrations give glory to Jesus? How will his life and message change your heart this Christmas?
Wishing All Of You A Very Merry Christmas,
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Christmas is soon upon us. And being on staff at my church does help awaken my heart to the what Christmas is all about. Perhaps it's all the "Christmas-y events" that we plan: Community Christmas Cafe, Caroling, Christmas Eve Service etc... or perhaps it's the fact that being a pastor almost forces me to come face-to-face every year with the true reason for the season.
It’s not hard to read a verse like Luke 1:31 “You[Mary] will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus” and not get excited about the significance of the birth of Jesus. Personally this verse rings so true in my life since Charity is with child and we anticipate the arrival of our first born together in June 2009. There is great hope, great peace, great comfort and great joy all pieced together like a glorious mosaic when we come to celebrate the arrival of Emmanuel—God with us.
And I think that last sentence is what really gets me excited this year. There was so much excitement with the prophesied arrival of the new-born King. The whole notion of Emmanuel—God with us, has truly spoken to my heart this year. There is nothing that I look forward to more for this up-coming year then for the birth of my child! Likewise, there was no greater excitement 2,000 years ago then from the birth of Jesus--born to Joseph & Mary (who was a virgin!)
This is where the mystery of Christmas still exists. Born of a virgin? Is that possible? Many doubt it...many refuse to believe such a miracle could even be possible. Even Mary herself had difficulty grasping at such a notion!
"How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?" The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God...For nothing is impossible with God" (Luke 1:34-35, 37)
Nothing is impossible with God! Not even Mary being with child and giving birth to Jesus--Emmanuel, God with Us. The baby Jesus, born in a manger...was God in human flesh! The image of the invisible God! What a great joy that was to those who knew the prophesy's, and who know believed--with all their hearts!
My prayer for you this Christmas is that you breath deep the comforting smells of Christmas, open your eyes to the beautiful lights that brighten up our cities, and pause—if even for just a few moments—and come to a place of peace where the significance of Christmas becomes strikingly apparent: that baby Jesus born in a manger would change the course of history...and change many lives forever...mine and yours included!
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Yup...for those of you who watched my "Town Home Renovations" video you were some of the first to find out that--indeed Charity is "with child" (kind of a great Christmas(ish) reference there!)
We're going to be parents! And we are now broadcasting this to the world!
Thank you to all who have left comments and have been overwhelmingly encouraging!
Our bundle of joy is schedule to arrive on June 6th...just in time for Father's Day!
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I am now convinced that middle school students can change the world!
I say this, because this past week I was completely humbled by an experience that I had at an event called "collide". This was a gathering of Coquitlam area middle school youth groups--the first of its kind.
The challenge myself and other youth pastors gave was for middle school kids to bring as much "stuff" to fill 25 boxes for Operation Christmas Child. So I admit, in my disbelief that this could even be done...I went out and purchased some "back up supplies" like pens, paper, crayons, socks, toys so that if we didn't have enough then at least the boxes wouldn't be totally empty and lame.
As middle school students began pouring into the church foyer, I noticed something. Bags and bags and bags of stuff! Yup...this was where God decided to slap me upside the head, and simultaneously kick me in the butt.
I gave a short challenge to students about their ability to make a change, to do something bigger than themselves...and even had a middle school student walk up to me afterward and complemented me on my message (does that really happen?) Yup it did...and it rocked my world!
Needless to say, students began filling boxes...even boxes that they brought! In total, that night we filled 40 boxes! But had so much stuff left over that there was enough to fill another 18 boxes. (which was done today by some great volunteers!)
That's 58 boxes! WOW.
I am now convinced that middle school students can change their world! They are a power to be reckoned with! They have all the energy in the world...and if more of us would realize their passion to rally around a cause bigger than themselves...we will stand in awe with what they can do.
It was truly an awesome night! look out world...
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
The people have spoken. Change will "officially" happen on January 20th 2009 when Barack Obama gets sworn in as the 44th President of the USA.
Funny how parties were thrown, massive news coverage was given, t-shirts were worn, buttons adorned, and this was all in Canada. Oddly enough, I think I remember voting for our current prime-minister a few weeks ago...but not to the fanfare that this decision invoked.
History was made last night...and whether you voted Red or Blue...this change will affect everyone...even us Red & White folk "up north."
I am curious to see how Obama will bring about this "change" that was so clearly marketed through his entire election campaign. Sadly...through much of this fanfare, my neighbours to the south (Washington state) voted to approve Initiative 1000 "death with dignity" a.k.a. doctor assisted suicide by a margin of 59% to 41% making them the second state to allow this.
Change is coming...but at what cost? Lives?
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Today I leave with the other 3 staff members from my church for 3 days to attend The Nova Experience in Kelowna. I am excited about the 4 hour drive there and back and for all the conversations that will take place...good and/or bad! And hey...we save the church $20 bucks since there aren't any tolls on the Coquihalla Hwy anymore!
What sucks is that I have to leave my wifey again this weekend! Thankfully I'll be home Saturday night, and that still leaves us Sunday/Monday to spend together.
I'll blog more possibly from the conference depending if they have accessible wi-fi. Otherwise I'll post something when I return.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Well it's been a few days since going up to Squamish, and wow...what an incredible weekend. We started off by driving up the notorious Sea-To-Sky Highway in low visibility and pouring rain! Even with their "improvements" the whole highway is freaking retarded still!
Friday night my buddy Matt Davies and his dad Glenn who are planting a church in Squamish welcomed us and shared their vision for why they're planting a church in the city of Squamish. Later on that night Matt shared from God's word and helped us become better listeners to God's voice. This was preparing us for what was coming up on Saturday morning.
Saturday morning we woke up (only getting about 4-5 hrs of sleep), and went out in two groups to pray over the city of Squamish. For three hours the two groups prayed over areas in the city like Quest University, the downtown core, various businesses etc... This was an amazing experience and many of the students shared afterward that this was an incredible opportunity for them to live out their faith.
The rest of the afternoon we spent time sightseeing at Shannon Falls and it was a beautiful sunny day. That night we had a great dinner at McDonalds, went swimming, and then learned that there is a cost in following Jesus. But the hope we have is that whatever the cost is... Jesus gave his life for us...and paid the ultimate cost for our freedom.
Sunday morning we joined Squamish Baptist Church during their morning service and were treated to a potluck lunch after. I don't think they were expecting 14 students to be eating all that food...so we gave them our lunch supplies that we had left to ensure everyone got something.
During that lunch I was introduced to three African girls who moved to Squamish to attend Quest University. What was amazing was on Saturday morning we prayed over that campus and asked God to raise up leaders on that campus to be a light. Getting to tell those 3 girls that we prayed for them just blew them away! I've already gotten an email from them saying how blessed they are to know complete strangers are praying for them!
Truth is this couldn't be a youth group missions trip without something crazy happening. This trip's "crazy" moment was how the Suburban I was driving was nicknamed the "Flaming Turd". I don't know this happened, but we drove around Squamish all weekend with this written in the dust on the back glass of the SUV.
I look forward to the next time we can get back to Squamish to continue partnering with Glenn & Matt and their church. To God be the glory...now and forever!
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
I am so excited to see the things that God will do through the hearts of these students as they give up their weekend to serve, to pray, and love the city of Squamish.
I purchased a cd a few weeks ago by an artist by the name of Brandon Heath. Here's the first track off that cd...it speaks so clearly about asking God to give us his eyes to see the lost, the brokenhearted, the poor and to regain focus on what's truly important.
Brandon Heath - Give Me Your Eyes from Brandon Heath on Vimeo.
Pray for our team as were gone this weekend, and I'll make sure to post again when we're back.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
The guys on Team 1040 were comparing the candidates to recent NHL Hockey teams. Here's howit all went down (this is a paraphrase and written to the best of my recollection):
Stephen Harper (Conservatives): Stephen is likely the closest to the 2006 Carolina Hurricanes. Their surprising Stanley Cup Win was a shock to many, and there hasn't been many significant achievements since that win...but they'll always say "we won the cup"!
Stephane Dion (Liberals): Stephane closely resembles the 2006 Vancouver Canucks. They were a team that had much promise and great things were expected from them. But nothing really materialized from that "promising" franchise...and we've all seen the fall out since.
Jack Layton (NDP): Jack is like the Dallas Starts. No specific year to make mention of...but rather they're a team that is always tough and will always show up for the game...but in the end they're not gonna win anything significant.
Elizabeth May (Green Party): May is like the Washington Capitals of 2008. For many years people forgot that Washington even had a professional hockey team. Then suddenly in late 2008 the Capitals surgged towards the Playoffs! This year Elizabeth made the Debate, and proved that after a change in leadership positive things began to happen!
I never heard anything about Gilles Duceppe, but I figure that you could compare him to the Quebec Nordiques... a team that has a filled with accomplishements, but except for those living in Quebec...most people have forgotten about them.
So I don't know if this helps you in your decision to vote today...but I sure had a laugh hearing this!
Monday, October 06, 2008
I am so excited tonight to be heading off to the Passion:Vancouver conference at GM Place. Passion:Vancouver will feature Chris Tomlin, David Crowder Band & Louie Giglio...and the most amazing thing is IT'S ALL FREE.
The Passion Conference is a world-wide conference that has chosen Vancouver as its ONLY North American stop. It is for University students ages 18-25 & their ministry leaders (eg: Young Adults Pastors).
So for all my readers out there in the rest of Canada and the USA...I'm so sorry that you're going to miss this. I'll hopefully throw some pictures up after tonight (so long as I get close enough to the front!)
Thursday, October 02, 2008
1) Eagle Ridge Elders/Staff Retreat @ Cedar Springs Retreat Center in Sumas, Washington
- this is going to be a great time interacting with the other elders & staff, as well as taking time out from our busy lives to be still and listen to God. I am excited with the direction God is taking this church, and I eagerly anticipate this weekend to be an incredibly refreshing time for everyone. Sadly...Charity is working (someone has to!)...so she won't be able to come.
2) Shopping in the USA
- yup...3 of us on staff here are playing hooky tomorrow and doing some shopping in Bellingham! I have a specific mission to purchase some Starbucks Energy Drinks for one of my students AND for a parent of one of my students in our ministry. If you have never had them before...these are what I'm talking about.
3) Lunch w/ friends on Sunday
- Charity and I are really looking forward to going out for lunch with our friends Phil & Brianne on Sunday. They have the same last name, but had Jerry Springer run extensive DNA tests before they started dating to ensure they weren't related!
4) Canucks vs. Anaheim
- oh baby I am excited for this. We were given free tickets to the Canucks game on Sunday night! Time to break out my Trevor Linden jersey and ensure my voice is ready for loads of screaming. I love the Canucks...and any chance to see a game is amazing! I am extremely grateful for the generosity of one man in this church for hooking me up with these tickets!
So yeah..that's my weekend! Pretty freaking sweet if I might say so!
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Yup...I'm wearing shorts and it's October 1st. Thank you Richard Simmons for summing up how I feel about wearing shorts in October...but for the love of all things holy, please wear longer shorts! Mine are at least at my knees!
Sadly...I have a suspicion that I'm going to have to start wearing jeans again very soon.
Friday, September 26, 2008
With only a sleeping bag, piece of cardboard, and the clothes on my back I am going to join hundreds of other students across Vancouver who will gather at the BC Lions Practice facility, and come face-to-face with really what is only a taste of homelessness.
I'll be the first to admit my life growing up was privileged, and I truly have no clue what many men and women go through on a daily basis--living on the streets. I can only hope that tonight God awakens my heart (and the hearts of my students coming) and gives us all a passion to make a difference and to take action against homelessness.
I ask you to please pray for all of those who are going. I don't want you to pray for "no rain" but rather pray that there is an outpouring of God's presence tonight. Pray that hearts are changed.
I'll make sure to throw some pictures up afterward. And check out the news tonight and tomorrow...there are rumors that a news crew will be there at some point.
For more info. check out www.onehomelessnight.com
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
SOLD IT IN 2 MINUTES!
I'm selling my 30gb, white, iPod video. It's in great shape, has had NO issues, and has been in the apple protective sleeve for most of its life.
It just shows "regular use" with a few scratches, but that's life for an iPod. It comes with the protective sleeve, sync cable, and the headphones (yeah they're used...so if you don't want them I understand).
$100 dollars and it's yours!
Leave me a message, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
I got a note on facebook on July 20th letting me know that my friend Christine lost her husband, Randy, in a motorcycle accident in Calgary. This sent shockwaves through their community, through their close friends and through me. Randy and Christine have two boys, who I imagine struggle to understand where their daddy is.
Now, this morning as I find out that a friend of mine, Preston, was killed on the side of the road while trying to help a student who had struck an elk with his car. Preston and his wife Tara were good friends of mine while at Briercrest. They have a son, Jacob, and Tara is pregnant with their second child.
Here is the link to the Oregon news station that reported the accident:
It is so hard to find words to write this morning. I search the scriptures for words from God to try to bring some reason to this. To see two amazing men, godly men, great husbands, awesome daddy's be taken from this earth...is hard to deal with.
But through this I know that we have to look to God for our strength...even if this hurts. I found these words in the Psalms today...this is a promise to hold onto.
Now let your unfailing love comfort me,
just as you promised me, your servant.
Surround me with your tender mercies so I may live,
for your instructions are my delight.
So I ask you to join me in praying for Christine & her two boys, and Tara and her son (and soon to be child). Pray for their families & friends. Ask God to surround them with his love, to mourn along side them, and to shower them with his grace.
"To Live is Christ...and to die is gain." Phil. 1:21
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
So today I open this info. package from them, and there's a free copy of the Passion: God of this City CD. WOO HOO. I have wanted this CD for a while, and now I got it for free. Check out this lyric video from the title track "God of this City"
May your prayer be that our God does great things in your city!
Friday, July 25, 2008
Now the truth is I haven't been in 6 years since I worked up at Barnabas Family Ministries back in the summer of 2002. But as I arrived at the water this morning it was calm, sunny, and warm. Today was a GLORIOUS day to go wakeboarding.
So after a few minutes of just taking it easy I ventured out of the wake, did a few cuts across and even got some air (enough to pull a backside grab for a second!) It was a 15 minute ride that felt absolutely amazing. It was a great morning. We finished it off by taking a dip in the pool (heated to like 30 Celsius).
Needless to say I can't wait for the next one! Here are some pictures from this morning.
This is the view that greeted me at the dock!
Enjoying the ride!
That's enough...take me home!
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Last week my dad called me to tell me his childhood friend suffered brain trauma as a result of a motorcycle accident and was in a coma. Doctors aren't saying whether or not he will be able to walk again, or even be "normal" after such a severe accident. I remember getting rides on the second seat of Bruce's motorcycle as a child when we visited him in the Okanagan. Those were great memories.
Two days ago I received a message on facebook from a friend of mine saying a mutual friend from highschool lost her husband as a result of a motorcycle accident this past week. He was a daddy to two young boys, and I can imagine that his wife Christine is just overwhelmed with loosing her husband...and her boys not having their daddy there to see them grow up.
So I'd ask for your prayers for my dad's friend Bruce, his wife and his kids. As well please pray for Christine, her two boys, and her family as they grieve the loss of Randy.
As much as we like to think....we have no control over when our lives will end. I have realized this lesson many times in my 27 years, with loosing a neighbour, and other friends I graduated with.
"Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered—how fleeting my life is. You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath.."
So I ask my readers to take a minute from their day today, or tomorrow, or whenever and pray for these two individuals...
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
these past few days I have been really challenged in my faith journey to recognize what it means to simplify. better yet, what it means to live without.
sure I now own a townhome, and we've filled it with "stuff" even a new big screen tv....so where do I get off talking about a topic like "simplicity".
well over the past few weeks I have dramatically reduced my "screen time". We don't have cable, and still haven't even plugged in our TV. We chose not to purchase cable for the next while in an attempt to enjoy our summer, and spend time doing other things (with each other & with friends)!
at work I have implemented a "no screen time" rule for the first 30 minutes from when I arrive in the office. this time is meant to read God's Word and pray.
this morning as I drank my coffee at starbucks (it's VBS this week...I need the jolt of caffeine), I sat there on the patio and for 10 minutes just found myself soaking in the warmth of the early morning sunshine.
doing nothing but just being still.
sounds like a familiar passage in Scripture.
"be still and know that I am God" Psalm 46:10
I have recognized that I need more simplicity (that almost seems paradoxical). We all need to think creatively as to how we can simplify our lives...focus more on our walk with Christ.
may you be encouraged to spend more time being simple. enjoying life. enjoying Christ.
Monday, July 07, 2008
So tonight Charity and I decided to take a break from unpacking boxes, and go watch Get Smart. Needless to say I laughed...a lot! These days have been filled with nothing but unpacking boxes, sorting stuff, putting that sorted stuff away into new places, and then repeating the whole process over again...so we realized we needed a break!
The really funny thing was, when I went to stand up after the movie was over...my legs totally cramped up! The truth is, I haven't sat down for that long in weeks! I couldn't believe how funny it felt to stand up after sitting for 2 hours! I guess it's a good thing that I haven't been lazy for the last while (I even weighed myself today and have lost a few pounds!)
Anyways, the house is slowly starting to look "like a house". More rooms are starting to be finished, and even today I bleach washed the walls in our storage room! That was really fun! Hopefully in a week or so it'll all be done and we can welcome people over!
Back to work tomorrow...but I'm looking forward to it. Lot's of great stuff happening this week!
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
I was overwhelmed by the amount of help from our family, who totally bent over backwards to help us move. It was so great to have Charity's mom & dad here for a few days too. We miss them, and wish we could see them far more often.
There are still tons of boxes to unpack, and we gotta figure out where some major pieces of furniture will go, but that will all happen in time.
I still wonder when the next day is that I'll get to sleep in, but for now Charity and I will continue to work well into the evenings to get this place ready for the hundreds of "house warming" parties I think I've promised to have!
I'll throw some pictures of the new place up when it's all cleaned up...and look for a new "after" video tour of our townhome comparable to the "before" video on my facebook site.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Yup, it's true! Charity and I are finally making the move from Langley to Pitt Meadows. We take possession of our new townhome on June 22nd, and will begin our renovation process.
There is much to do over the next week and a bit to get the place looking all nice and new. We're throwing in new carpet, lino, laminate floors etc...and getting new appliances throughout the place. As well the whole place will get new paint...especially in the Master Bedroom...where we'll finally get ride of that awful Neon Pink!
We ask for your prayers for us during all of the renovations, that things go smoothly, and that everyone is kept safe. Pray that we stay healthy and full of energy to get everything accomplished.
To all of our friends and family who are helping us out...thank you! There is no way we could do this without all of you!
I promise we'll throw a wicked House Warming party sometime in July when all of this is done, and we get all unpacked!
And it begins...
Saturday, June 14, 2008
To listen click here: (or Right Click & click on "Save Link As" and download it)
P.S. For those who listen and wonder what is the "blatant act of defiance" at the beginning of my sermon...I took a water bottle up on stage and had a drink...but prior to this it was somewhat taboo for any drinks to be in our brand-spankin' new worship centre. I think it's safe to say it's no longer taboo!
Friday, June 06, 2008
maybe for many of my "faithful" blog readers out there these past few months of silence have felt like a "where's waldo?" book. needless to say much has gone on in my life over these past few months, but much of what was happening couldn't get posted here on my blog until it had all been finalized...
...well it's certainly all finalized now. so here's a long overdue blog post.
over the last while Charity and I felt God calling us into a new chapter of ministry. more specifically I felt God calling me to leave Northwest Langley Baptist Church and that God was going to open a new door for a new season on ministry. this was not an easy decision as I was coming up in 4 years at NWLB, but Charity and I both new that a change was coming.
well that change has happened and I am now the Pastor of Student Ministries at Eagle Ridge Bible Fellowship in Coquitlam, BC. I started here on May 15th and it has been nothing short of amazing. There is a great staff team in place and it is clear that this is where God has the need for me.
let me tell you that the candidating/looking for a new church process is nothing short of CRAZY! we were pursued and pursued a few churches and often thought we knew what was the "best fit." of course...for any of you who have lived a life of following Christ....we often make this assumption only to get a rude awakening in the end.
though this all God has been so amazing to Charity and I. so much that we were able to purchase a townhome in Pitt Meadows...which is about 20-30 minute drive from the church. the video of it is available on my facebook site to watch. we move into it on July 1st...which is like just over 3 weeks away. our basement suite right now is FULL of boxes. But we promise to have a house warming party sometime in the summer...with how many friends and family we want to have over we might need to have two parties...the place is only 1250 square feet.
this sunday I am preaching here at ERBF, and I am very excited. my sermon is from 1st Thessalonians 2:6b-13 and looks at how relationships define our faith. i practiced it twice this morning all by myself in our new auditorium. I think I'm ready to go.
well, that's a bit of an update for you. the new laptop my church has ordered for me should arrive next week, and then I hope to get into a more consistent habit of positing again. right now I am borrowing Charity's laptop which is a little older and slower then my patience can handle sometimes!
Friday, March 14, 2008
Our team has done so much work to get to this point, and I am incredibly proud of them. We meet tomorrow morning at 5am, and are on the road by 6am. It's a long drive down there, but we get to stop on Sunday at Disneyland!!! WOO HOO. I haven't been there since I was in grade 8. That was back in 1995!
There is going to be so much to write about when I get back. Please pray for our team. Pray for our healthy, safety, unity, and that God will use us in crazy ways to bless those that we connect with. We're down there over Easter, and I pray that the story of Easter will be shared in many ways through our students.
I can't write much...I've got tons of things still left to do. More to pack, more to print, more, to prep etc...
I'm back in Langley on the 24th...
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
10 days until 12 students and 3 adult leaders travel down to Vicente Guerrero, Mexico for our second student missions trip. Wow, I can't believe that we're this close to going. God has been so faithful in providing everything that we've ever needed. We have raised $1,000 in access to the funds required to build the house down there which means we get to decide what additional items we'd like to buy for the family we're helping, and what additional items we'd like to add to the house like additional windows, beds, table, chairs etc...
Please be in prayer for our team while we're gone. We leave Saturday March 15th, and return Monday March 24th. We are down there over Easter which will be extra special to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus together with our students and leaders.
There is so much still to plan, prepare, pack and purchase! Needless to say my life until we leave will be really busy! Oh well, this is a great experience and I can't wait to get down there. We get the chance to see the family we helped out with back in 2006 when we were down there, which will be extra special to our returning students.
God is going to do great things in us and through us. Lives will be changed forever!
Friday, February 29, 2008
I am so excited for tonight! My dad is taking me and my brother out to the Canucks game! I don't even remember the last one I went to...it's probably been over 10 years. I don't get to spend as much time as I'd like with my dad and brother so this is going to be an awesome night. Hopefully the Canucks will win...that would be really nice!
We've all got our jersey's to wear tonight so look for us on TV (the game is at 7pm on Sportsnet). Our seats are up in the nosebleeds, but who cares, the fact that we get to be there is what's most important!
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Today is recognized as National Anti-Bullying Day, and I am wearing my pink shirt in support of this great movement.
This whole thing was brought to my attention from some of my students who sent me an invitation on facebook. As soon as I saw what this was about it was an obvious choice to click "Yes, I will be attending".
For me, this whole idea is very personal. From grade 5 until grade 10 I was bullied constantly in both elementary and high school. It's not difficult for me to talk about being bullied now, but during my younger years there were no words to express the pain and hurt that I felt. There were many times when I felt like no one loved me, that I had no friends, and that the world would be better off without me.
Looking back on those thoughts it scares me to think that there are so many young boys and girls who are on the verge of great things in their adolescence are are dealing with thoughts and emotions well beyond their years. I praise God that the bullying ended for me the year I entered grade 10, but I know for many others it feels like its never stopped. It Has To Stop!
I hope that you have joined this movement today, but that for you it goes well beyond just wearing pink...that it means a change of thought and action towards how we treat others. We are each created in the image of God...we are all his beloved children. Our purpose and value are found in Christ, and not in the thoughts and actions of someone else.
Hear my prayer, O Lord; listen to my plea! Answer me because you are faithful and righteous.
2 Don’t put your servant on trial, for no one is innocent before you. 3 My enemy has chased me. He has knocked me to the ground and forces me to live in darkness like those in the grave.
4 I am losing all hope; I am paralyzed with fear. 5 I remember the days of old. I ponder all your great works and think about what you have done. 6 I lift my hands to you in prayer. I thirst for you as parched land thirsts for rain.
7 Come quickly, Lord, and answer me, for my depression deepens. Don’t turn away from me,
or I will die. 8 Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you. 9 Rescue me from my enemies, Lord; I run to you to hide me. 10 Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing. 11 For the glory of your name, O Lord, preserve my life. Because of your faithfulness, bring me out of this distress. 12 In your unfailing love, silence all my enemies and destroy all my foes, for I am your servant.
To watch Global TV's news report this morning about National Anti-Bullying Day click here:
Friday, February 15, 2008
Word is that "An underwater car, based on a James Bond film's been unveiled in Switzerland. The Squba can travel on land or up to ten metres underwater."
To read the whole article click here:
Now I need to go and find a cloth to wipe up my drool!
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
About two thirds of the way through the show during "Sunday Bloody Sunday"Bono reaches into the crowd to grab a headband with the above symbol written in sharpie marker across the front. This is where the conversation starts for me...
-What is the message that is trying to be said here?
-What does a normal person understand when Bono says "Jesus, Jew, Muhammad, it's true...all sons of Abraham"?
-How do I as a Pastor dialogue through this seemingly religiously pluralistic comment?
Now in no way do I profess to be clairvoyant to know exactly where Bono and the rest of U2 align themselves spiritually/theologically, and though I own the "Walk On: The Spiritual Journey of U2" book I admit I have yet to read it.
What I am wrestling with is how to properly communicate the truth of Bono's statement. At it's rawest form, Bono's "Jesus, Jew, Muhammad...all sons of Abraham" is true.
As we read in Genesis 13:16 "I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted."
Further in Genesis 16 we read of Abraham and his maidservant, Hagar, having a son named Ishmael, who is a prominent prophet in Islam.
In Genesis 17 we read of God establishing his covenant with Abraham and he and Sarah conceiving a son to be named Isaac. "I will establish my covenant with him [Isaac] as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him." (Gen. 17:19)
All three of these Abrahamic Religions claim Abraham as a patriarch of their faith. This is true. However I am unsure of where Bono is going on his mid-song rant. Is he saying that each of these three religions are equally true? Equally viable means of salvation? Equal methods of reaching God?
If so...then why would Jesus say:
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)
For a normal person would they believe these words of Jesus as Truth? Even Jesus' followers were confused with his teachings...even regarding being descendants of Abraham:
"To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." They answered him, "We are Abraham's descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?"
Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. I know you are Abraham's descendants. Yet you are ready to kill me, because you have no room for my word. I am telling you what I have seen in the Father's presence, and you do what you have heard from your father. "
"Abraham is our father," they answered.
"If you were Abraham's children," said Jesus, "then you would do the things Abraham did. As it is, you are determined to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things. You are doing the things your own father does."
"We are not illegitimate children," they protested. "The only Father we have is God himself.
Lastly, I in no way want to infer that I don't believe in loving my neighbour, seeing the beauty in other people, and understanding that hatred of others is the farthest thing from Jesus' teachings. But I do want to say that wherever Bono is going with his "CoeXisT" philosophy I encourage my brothers and sisters to approach this carefully, and with discernment.
"Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world" (1st John 4:1)
Well, now that I've thrown that out there, I look forward to hearing any of your thoughts on this...especially if you have been to the U2 show, or were at the Vertigo tour here in Vancouver. What is your read on this? Good? Bad? Neutral?
Thursday, January 31, 2008
We had AMAZING seats for the game, and were seated right on the red line 4 rows up from the Giants' bench. We could hear Don Hay (Giants Coach) talking with the players. The picture above is without any zoom! That's how close we were to the action! It was a totally different game experience being so close to the ice.
In the end...Vancouver won 3-1 over Lethbridge. WOO HOO. It was a great night and we really enjoyed the chance to go. Another neat thing is that my old Sr. Pastor from Fraserview Church in Richmond is the Giants' team chaplain, and so we got to hang out before the game, and during the 2nd period. I really miss that guy. It was really great to see him and to catch up on our lives.
Friday, January 11, 2008
We have all seen these types of people in our churches. I know that next time you have church you'll be watching and labeling each person with their hands raised!
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
I await with great anticipation what God is going to do in Charity's and my lives this year. Here's just some of the fun things that are soon approaching in the month of January & February!
1) Heading off to Alberta: We're off to "Wild Rose Country" Jan. 18-22, (though to be perfectly honest with you I've never seen a wild rose in Alberta!) We'll be there just for a few days but it's going to be great to see Charity's family again.
2) Vancouver Giants vs. Lethbridge Hurricanes: Yup, nothing says "love" between Charity and I then pitting the two WHL teams from our home towns against each other...and we'll be there! Thanks to Todd for getting us these tickets for a wicked Christmas present!
3) An Evening in Vancovuer: My dad got Charity and I a free night's accommodation in an executive suite at the Delta Vancouver Suites Hotel. We got this back in July and still haven't used it! So we've booked the date and we're very much looking forward to it. We're going to have a great night and an amazing dinner at The Stone Grill. Thanks Dad!
4) Canucks Hockey Game! My dad is taking my brother and I to the Canucks vs. Blue-Jackets game on Feb. 29th. I haven't been to a Canucks game in who-knows how long! This is going to be awesome. Time to wear my Jersey that Charity got me for Christmas!
So yeah..that's just this month! So much more on the horizon...but then I'd just be rambling on forever and I really don't have that much time right now.
Time to head home...
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
Charity and I enjoyed a great night at home eating a great dinner, watching movies, playing on our Wii, and ringing in the New Year with a wonderful New Year's kiss! WOO HOO.